This weekend starts the first week of college football. Yes, you read that right. College football will be played this year. Yes, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the season, like what happens if an outbreak occurs, or what if a conference decides to pull the plug on the season? Well, hopefully we won’t have to worry about that. With that being said, with the Power 5 starting less than two weeks from today, when Miami takes on UAB on Thursday, Sept. 10. The SEC will begin their schedule at the end of next month and will only play conference games. With the Big 10 and Pac 12 deciding to postpone their season, let’s reajust the top 10 with the teams playing this fall.
No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys: The Cowboys start the top 10 simply because they have one of the best players in the country in junior running back Chuba Hubbard. The only reason Hubbard is not in the NFL right now is because you have to attend three years of college before you can enter your name in the draft. He was sensational last year, rushing for over 2,000 yards on 328 carries.Hubbard has the eighth best odds to win the Heisman. If he can do what he did last year, not only will he be in New York in December, but his team could potentially be in contention to win it all.
No 9. Texas Longhorns: Another Big 12 team at No. 9. Head coach Tom Herman is entering his fourth year as the leader of the Longhorns. He is under a lot of pressure to do well this year, especially now with only a certain amount of conferences playing this year. Luckily for him, he has senior leader Sam Ellinger, who is entering his third year as starting quarterback. Along with Oklahoma State, Texas is another favorite to win the Big 12 this year.
No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Yes, the Irish are playing this year. After all, they have touchdown Jesus. Even though the Irish have never once played in a conference, this year is a lot different. Since the Irish play six ACC games a year, the ACC invited them to play in their conference this year. Like the Longhorns, the Irish are lead three year starter, senior quarterback Ian Book. Book had a bit of a down year last year even though they won 11 games. They lost their two biggest games and failed to make the playoffs after going 12-0 in the regular season in 2018. Book is 20-3 as a starter and will look to improve on that in his final season.
No. 7 Auburn Tigers: The Tigers are the first SEC team to crack the top 10. Last year the Tigers relied on one of the best defenses in the country. This year they will rely more on sophomore quarterback Bo Nix. Nix was only a true freshman last year, winning nine games and beating arch rival Alabama. With Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa both getting drafted in the top five of the draft, Nix has a good chance to replace those two as the best quarterback in the SEC West.
No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have lost a lot of talent since their 2018 title run when they lost to Alabama. They will have a decision to make at quarterback after Jake Fromm went to the draft. It will be between two transfers: former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman and former USC QB JT Daniels. Both had success at their former schools and at least one of them will need to step up with an offense that doesn’t have a lot of experience.
No 5. Florida Gators: The Gators are my favorite to win the SEC East and finally overcome Georgia, who has dominated the East over the last several years. Head coach Mike Mullen is entering his third year and is looking to win his division for the first time in his career. Mullen and his team are my favorites to win the East.
No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners: Year in and year out so far in Lincoln Riley’s four years as head coach he has had to replace his Heisman winner/ candidate at the quarterback position. And he has successfully accomplished it year in and year out. This year it will be Spencer Rattler replacing Jalen Hurts.
No. 3 LSU Tigers: The defending national champions come in at No. 3 on my list. They have lost a lot of players who went to the NFL and they will have a lot to replace, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what it takes to win. They still have that championship DNA, and we’ll see how they respond off the championship hangover.
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide: After a disappointing 11-2 season, yes, I called an 11-2 season disappointing, but that’s expected when you missed the playoffs for the first time since college football began its playoff. Obviously, the Tide lost a lot with four players going in the first round of the draft, but they have Mac Jones throwing to arguably the best duo in college football Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith.
No. 1 Clemson Tigers: The defending runner-ups and champions from two years ago, are led by arguably the best player in the nation; quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The junior has only lost one game in his career and is aiming to continue to add to his amazing career. Clemson has become a dynasty, and with another national championship, they will pass Alabama as the best program in the nation.